|Publication number||US8009107 B2|
|Application number||US 12/755,795|
|Publication date||Aug 30, 2011|
|Priority date||Dec 4, 2006|
|Also published as||US20100220031|
|Publication number||12755795, 755795, US 8009107 B2, US 8009107B2, US-B2-8009107, US8009107 B2, US8009107B2|
|Inventors||Qian Li, Wladimiro Villarroel|
|Original Assignee||Agc Automotive Americas R&D, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (54), Referenced by (3), Classifications (22), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation-in-part application of application Ser. No. 11/566,341, filed Dec. 4, 2006.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to an antenna for radiating an electromagnetic field from at least one radiating surface of a dielectric layer to achieve a desired polarization radiation.
2. Description of the Related Art
Various antennas for receiving circularly and/or linearly polarized RF signals are known in the art. In the antennas of the prior art, dielectric layers are typically used to isolate a radiation element, such as a discrete metal-based patch radiation element, from other elements of the antenna, such as a feeding probe and a ground plane. One example of such an antenna is disclosed in United States Patent Application Publication No. 2005/0195114 to Yegin et al. (the Yegin et al. publication). The Yegin et al. publication discloses an antenna mounted to a windshield of an automobile. The antenna includes a ground plane supporting dielectric layer. Further, the dielectric layer is supporting a metal layer having a slot, and the feeding probe excites the metal layer to radiate across the edges of the dielectric layer.
Although the antennas of the prior art can receive and/or transmit circularly and/or linearly polarized RF signals, there remains an opportunity to provide an antenna that maintains the ability to achieve circular and/or linear polarization radiation from all surfaces of the dielectric layer that extend transverse relative to the ground plane and are parallel to and spaced from the ground plane and maintain or improve the performance of the antenna, including increasing bandwidth, increasing efficiency, decreasing size and decreasing manufacturing complexity. Therefore, an antenna is needed that provides many desired characteristics that increase antenna performance when compared to the antennas of the prior art. In addition, an antenna is needed that may be used as a wideband antenna for multiple applications, including achieving any desired polarization radiation, such as providing both circular polarization and linear polarization. An antenna is needed that also has beam-tilting capabilities. Finally, an antenna is needed that is less sensitive and easier to tune when compared to the antennas of the prior art.
An antenna for radiating an electromagnetic field having both linear and circular polarization includes a ground plane and a dielectric layer. The dielectric layer is disposed on the ground plane and has at least one exposed surface that radiates the electromagnetic field. A first feeding element is disposed on the exposed surface for electrically exciting the dielectric layer to provide the linear polarization at a first frequency having a first effective wavelength. A second feeding element is disposed on the exposed surface for electrically exciting the dielectric layer to provide the circular polarization at a second frequency having a second effective wavelength. The feeding elements are separated by a distance greater than ⅛ wavelength of any of the effective wavelengths.
Disposing the feeding elements on the exposed surface of the dielectric layer electrically excites the dielectric layer such that the electromagnetic field radiates from the exposed surface. The separation of the feeding elements from one another assists in achieving both circular and linear polarized radiation without significant interference between the signals. Furthermore, the antenna has many desired performance characteristics. These characteristics include the antenna having a very wide frequency band, high efficiency, and minimum size. The wide frequency band allows the antenna to be used as a wideband antenna for multiple applications, including achieving both circular polarization and linear polarization. In addition, the electromagnetic radiation from the at least one exposed surface provides higher gain at lower elevation angles. Furthermore, disposing the feeding element on the dielectric layer having a non-symmetrical configuration allows for improved beam-tilted performance. This is desired in satellite radio applications. Moreover, disposing the feeding element on the at least one exposed surface results in the antenna being easier to tune and manufacture when compared to antennas of the prior art.
Other advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated, as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views, an antenna for radiating an electromagnetic field is shown generally at 30. In the illustrated embodiments, the antenna 30 is utilized to receive either one or both of a circularly polarized radio frequency (RF) signal or a linearly polarized RF signal. Those skilled in the art realize that the antenna 30 may also be used to transmit the circularly polarized and linearly polarized RF signal. Specifically, in some embodiments, the antenna 30 receives a left-hand circularly polarized (LHCP) RF signal like those produced by a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) provider, such as XM® Satellite Radio or SIRIUS® Satellite Radio, a right-hand circularly polarized (RHCP) RF signal like those produced by GPS navigation systems, and a linearly polarized RF signals like those produced by cellular phone providers.
Multiple antennas 30 may be implemented as part of a diversity system of antennas. For instance, the vehicle 34 of the preferred embodiment may include a first antenna on the windshield and a second antenna on the backlite. Alternatively, the antennas 30 may be arranged in a stacked or side-by-side configuration. These antennas would both be electrically connected to a receiver (not shown) within the vehicle 34 via a transmission wire (not shown). Those skilled in the art realize several processing techniques may be used to achieve diversity reception. In one such technique, a switch (not shown) may be implemented to select the antenna 30 that is currently receiving a stronger RF signal from the satellite.
Preferably, the window 32 includes at least one nonconductive pane 36. The term “nonconductive” refers to a material, such as an insulator or dielectric, that when placed between conductors at different potentials, permits only a small or negligible current in phase with the applied voltage to flow through material. Typically, nonconductive materials have conductivities on the order of nanosiemens/meter.
In the illustrated embodiments, the nonconductive pane 36 is implemented as at least one pane of glass. Of course, the window 32 may include more than one pane of glass. Those skilled in the art realize that automotive windows 32, particularly windshields, may include two panes of glass sandwiching an adhesive interlayer. The adhesive interlayer may be a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). Of course, other adhesive interlayers would also be acceptable. The nonconductive pane 36 is preferably automotive glass and more preferably soda-lime-silica glass. The pane of glass typically defines a thickness between 1.5 and 5.0 mm, preferably 3.1 mm. It is also typical for the pane of glass to have a relative permittivity between 5 and 9, preferably 7. Those skilled in the art, however, realize that the nonconductive pane 36 may be formed from plastic, fiberglass, or other suitable nonconductive materials. Furthermore, the nonconductive pane 36 functions as a radome for the antenna 30. That is, the nonconductive pane 36 protects the other components of the antenna 30 from moisture, wind, dust, etc. that are present outside the vehicle 34.
Referring generally to
The electromagnetic field is radiated by a dielectric layer 40 disposed on the ground plane 38. Specifically, as shown in
As shown in the Figures, the dielectric layer 40 has at least one exposed surface 44 that radiates the electromagnetic field. Typically, the dielectric layer 40 has multiple exposed surfaces 44. Referring to
The dielectric layer 40 defines an exterior perimeter and the exposed surface 44 may be any surface of the dielectric layer 40 that extends around the exterior perimeter of the dielectric layer 40. Specifically, any surface of the dielectric layer 40 may be the exposed surface 44 except for the surface of the dielectric layer 40 that faces and abuts the ground plane 38. Therefore, the exposed surface 44 is any surface of the dielectric layer 40 that is perpendicular to the ground plane 38 or parallel to and spaced from the ground plane 38. In other words, the exposed surface 44 may be any surface of the dielectric layer 40 that abuts the nonconductive pane 36, extends transverse relative to the ground plane 38, or extends parallel to and spaced from the ground plane 38. Accordingly, various surfaces of the dielectric layer 40 may define the exposed surface 44 so the dielectric layer 40 may include more than one exposed surface 44.
As discussed above, the exposed surface 44 is defined as any surface of the dielectric layer 40 that extends transverse relative to the ground plane 38 or as any surface that is parallel to and spaced from the ground plane 38. As such, any exposed surface 44 may radiate the electromagnetic field. Therefore, the dielectric layer 40 may include multiple exposed surfaces 44 and any number of the exposed surfaces 44 may radiate. Preferably, the dielectric layer 40 and the exposed surface 44 are integrally formed from a single material such that the relative permittivity between the dielectric layer 40 and the exposed surface 44 is uniform. In other words, it is preferred that the exposed surface 44 is part of the dielectric layer 40.
The dielectric layer 40 may have various configurations. For example, the dielectric layer 40 may be composed of a single material as discussed above. Alternatively, the dielectric layer 40 may be a combination of different materials having dielectric properties and various dimensions arranged in a stacked or side-by-side configuration to provide the antenna 30 with polarization radiation characteristics more suitable to particular applications, such as automotive applications.
As shown in
In the embodiments illustrated by
Also in the embodiments illustrated by
As is well known to those skilled in the art, a free space wavelength (λ) of an RF signal is related to the frequency at which the RF signal operates. Furthermore, an effective wavelength (λe) depends on the permittivity of a dielectric material and corresponds to the free space wavelength (λ). Generally, the effective wavelength equals the free space wavelength divided by the square root of the relative permittivity (∈r). In the illustrated embodiments, the feeding elements 48 are not disposed completely within the dielectric layer 40. As such, an actual effective wavelength does not follow this general rule precisely. Therefore, with a relative permittivity of about 9.4, the actual effective wavelength can be calculated by dividing the free space wavelength by a factor of around 2.5 to 2.8.
The length of each feeding element 48 is typically ¼ of the effective wavelength for the desired frequency. However, the length may vary from ⅛ to ½ of the effective wavelength. In the embodiments illustrated by
The distance of the separation from the center axis A allows for the circular polarization to be generated without the assistance of hybrids or other phase shifting electronics. More specifically, for the applications described above, the second and third feeding elements 48B, 48C are separated by about 15 mm from the center axis A and the first feeding element 48A. Of course, the distance of separation will vary based on the desired frequency applications for the antenna 30 as well as other factors.
In one embodiment, the exposed surface 44 is further defined as a plurality of exposed surfaces 44 and the feeding element 48 is disposed on at least one of the plurality of exposed surfaces 44. In addition, another of the plurality of said exposed surfaces 44 may radiate the electromagnetic field. The different exposed surfaces 44 may radiate differently from one another, and the feeding element 48 may be disposed on any of the exposed surfaces 44. For instance, the feeding element 48 may be disposed on the exposed surface 44 that radiates. Alternatively, the dielectric layer 40 may include an exposed surface 44 that does not radiate. In this alternative, the feeding element 48 may be disposed on the exposed surface 44 that does not radiate while another exposed surface 44 does radiate.
As stated above, one feeding element 48 disposed on the exposed surface 44 may achieve left hand circular polarization, another feeding element 48 disposed on the exposed surface 44 may achieve right hand circular polarization, and yet another feeding element 48 disposed on the exposed surface 44 may achieve linear polarization. In either of these embodiments, the feeding elements 48 may be disposed on the same exposed surface 44 as shown in
Whether the antenna 30 includes one feeding element 48 or multiple feeding elements 48, the individual feeding elements 48 are generally identical in composition. Generally, each feeding element 48 is an electrical conductor capable of exciting the dielectric layer 40 and is electrically isolated from the ground plane 38. Preferably, each feeding element 48 is formed from a metal. Although the feeding elements 48 may have a similar composition, certain physical characteristics of the feeding element 48 relative to the antenna 30, the exposed surfaces 44 of the dielectric layer 40 determine how the antenna 30 radiates the desired polarization radiation. For instance, the feeding element 48 has a uniform width “w” of 0.4 mm to 4 mm, and preferably, 1 mm to 3 mm. However, it is to be understood that the feeding element 48 may have a variable or non-uniform width. For example, the feeding element 48 may have a varied width between 0.4 mm and 4 mm.
As shown in
As shown in
Referring back to
Regardless of which type of feeding element 48 is used, RF signals received by the antenna 30 are collected by the feeding element 48. As shown in
Disposing the feeding elements 48 on the exposed surface 44 of the dielectric layer 40 electrically excites the dielectric layer 40 such that the electromagnetic field radiates from the exposed surface 44 and achieves multiple polarization radiation. The antenna 30 of the subject invention therefore provides many desired characteristics that increase the performance of the antenna 30. These characteristics include the antenna 30 having a very wide frequency band, high efficiency, and decreased size, decreased manufacturing complexity, and decreased sensitivity.
Referring now to
The invention has been described in an illustrative manner, and it is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation. As is now apparent to those skilled in the art, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
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|U.S. Classification||343/700.0MS, 343/713|
|International Classification||H01Q1/32, H01Q1/38|
|Cooperative Classification||H01Q1/38, H01Q9/04, H01Q5/35, H01Q9/0485, H01Q9/40, H01Q9/42, H01Q19/30, H01Q21/30, H01Q9/0435|
|European Classification||H01Q9/04B3B, H01Q9/42, H01Q9/04, H01Q21/30, H01Q1/38, H01Q9/40, H01Q9/04C, H01Q19/30, H01Q5/00K2C2|
|Apr 21, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: AGC AUTOMOTIVE AMERICAS R&D, INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LI, QIAN;VILLARROEL, WLADIMIRO;REEL/FRAME:024264/0238
Effective date: 20061107
|May 10, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: AGC AUTOMOTIVE AMERICAS R&D, INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LI, QIAN;VILLARROEL, WLADIMIRO;SIGNING DATES FROM 20100503 TO 20100510;REEL/FRAME:024360/0808
|Feb 11, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4